A guest post from Diana about her experiences learning the Catalan language and how it helped her integrate. All opinions are her own.
Déu n’hi do, com parla català!
To learn or not to learn Catalan? If you are an expat in Catalonia, you might be in this common dilemma as you constantly hear different opinions about the topic.
In this article I’ll share with you the difficulties, the benefits and insight into Catalan culture and society that has come from knowing it, the reception I’ve received from local people and more.
I moved to Catalonia 3½ years ago and decided to study Catalan after finishing my course in the Spanish language. Obviously, as an expat I also had the same questions and doubts: should I learn the Catalan language, do I really need it, is it practical, will I get into society? In my Spanish school, I heard from many international students that Catalan people are very closed and even if you learn the language, that’s not the way to get into the society and make local friends. Well, that depends. Read the rest of this article…
Barcelona is a city that should be written with capital letters, a place where every single day deserves to be enjoyed. Barcelona is my favorite city to spend my days off, when I do not have to work.
For me, an ideal Saturday in Barcelona is to enjoy the city and visit my favorite places, those where I feel at home and make me feel fulfilled. These places do not always appear in the tourist guides, but they are equally worth it and that is why I want to share them with you.
The best way to start the morning is with a good coffee and a full breakfast on the terrace of my house, with the heat of the first rays of sun and overlooking the streets of Gràcia. I enjoy this even in winter.
Then, in my sports clothes, I start my routine running session in a privileged place: the Park Güell and its surroundings. I’m crazy? No! Early in the morning these gardens are free of tourists and this is the perfect place to practice some sport in the nature, near home and overlooking the whole city.
Views from El Carmel
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Everyone knows the beauty of Barcelona, it’s history, its architecture, its people. It is true that walking through the streets and alleyways of the various neighbourhoods can sometimes feel like you’ve been taken back in time, back to a period of imperialism and decadence. However Barcelona is just as beautiful from afar, if you want to step back and take it all in there are a number of great viewpoints in Barcelona that give you a unique view and perspective of the city.
View of the Collserola from Turó de la Rovira
They all give you a different sense of what the city is about. Whether it’s a waterside vantage point overlooking Port Vell and the luxury yachts cruising into their mooring spots, or the mountain top views from the old Spanish Civil War military bunkers that make the city below look like a cluster of toy houses all piled up on top of each other, there’s something for everyone. Read the rest of this article…
Barcelona in a word for me would be: lifestyle. The city’s history, cosmopolitan approach, fantastic weather and terrific food are a great combination that would make any of your days perfect! So, in that sense I compiled the best elements of different days into a single one, and I must say I am amazed about the result!
Early morning yoga and my favourite energy boost
A few years ago, I started attending yoga classes at Sincronia in Gràcia (c/ Pere Serafí, 7), and because of some logistical aspects of my life I couldn’t continue, so then one of the owners, offered to send one of their teachers to my place. And now I am an avid yogi. At least twice a week at 6.30am Ferran knocks at the door of my apartment and we start saluting the sun.
But a good day, needs a healthy boost, and I love having my breakfast at Lo&Lo Juicing (c/ Breton de los Herreros, 4), it is always nice to talk to Lea or Alberto about life and day-to-day issues. I start checking some emails and making some phone calls so things get settled with work. While I am writing these lines, I am planning to become a “mobile-entrepreneur”. Read the rest of this article…
For me, one of the words that defines Barcelona is beauty. I have been living here for almost 19 years and there is not a day that I don’t surprise myself with beautiful buildings, streets, art, sounds, light and food, just to name some of the many sources of beauty the city offers. In fact, describing a perfect day in Barcelona is quite difficult because there are so many options and combinations of things to do and see that make it hard to choose just a few. But I will try!
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